Category Archives: Brooklyn

Hand In Hand Mural: Phase Four, Results

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Hand In Hand Mural: Phase Four, Results

Hand In Hand Mural: Phase Four, Results

On 8/21, Hannah interviewed me about the mural project.  It was exciting to see the project take on yet another dimension.  In addition to being appreciated and discussed by church members and the community, especially the block residents, other people who may not even live in Brooklyn will learn about the mural and its message.

This was an opportunity for me see the mural’s power and the power of art in a new way.  Hannah has been inspired to document this project.  She is attracted to its beauty, its positive message, and its spiritual connection.  She meets Lourdes Zephier and is inspired to share her story as an audio project for her class.

How many more spiritual connections will the project make?  Already I see new friends in our congregation who have come to worship with us. What else is a possible result of this project?

Now Hannah’s article has been published on-line. See below Hannah’s article in Brooklyn Ink.

Behind the Hands: The Making of a Mural

Hand in Hand Mural Project: Phase Three, Installation and Completion!

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Hand in Hand Mural Project: Phase Three, Installation and Completion!

What happens when you set out to create a loving and inclusive work of art?

A great deal. People meet in a church basement, sharing snacks. People write their ideas on post its and others read them. People talk about the differences between words that are nouns, like “forgiveness” and words that are verbs, like “forgiving”. People discover shapes and symbols and reflect on their meaning. People talk about how colors make them feel and what their neighbors might think about colors being too bright or dark.

Kathy Hand in Hand draft

Kathy Creutzburg, the artist/ designer  of the Hand in Hand  mural  took in all of this communication and convergence of ideas and interest in art and created a beautiful watercolor draft of the mural.

It all finally came together when we met to install the mural.

 

I was a little nervous.  Would we have the volunteers that we needed?  Was the heat going to crush us?

Then I met Ethan Sanchez, our intern, and Kathy Creutzburg at 10AM.

We got set up that first day and Janice Brown arrived, a good friend who’s just returned to Brooklyn and is an artist activist.  We met Lourdes Zephier and her family the first day, by accident or miracle, depends what you want to call it. Kathy, our artist guide, Ethan, our intern, Janice and Lourdes became the creative, dedicated working force that would see this project through to completion.

As Kathy described the process to us, we would begin by installing the mosaic portion of the mural. After locating space in the church for storing materials and tools for the mural process, we started by cementing the tiles to the wall that became the trunk of “tree of life” symbol overshadowing about half of the wall. That first week was just about laying in this “trunk and branches” portion. We created the leaves in a workshop including church members, Sunday dinner guests, Lourdes, Brooklyn, Derek and Janice.

Lourdes is a total delight and her kids are among the sweetest I’ve ever met.  I will never forget the sight of Brooklyn, age 7, totally absorbed by arranging and sorting tiles of different colors and shapes on the white table top. It was enchanting.

So much creativity and wonder has become part of the project. As Janice’s video documents, community members became part of the project as it grew from the mosaic, into a primed wall, into the sketching, and finally the painting of the mural.  Every time I visited the artists, people gathered to talk about the mural, children asked us questions, mothers and young people and block residents expressed their interest and appreciation. Special thanks go to Renee Mason and Jonathan Lewis for their support and spirit.

Meanwhile, Georga Accola, co-sponsor of the project, was off on a long planned vacation in Europe, and I had a tooth extracted and proceeded to hit the road, for a long awaited Road Trip with a friend in California.

It was the power of artists Kathy Creutzburg, Janice Long and Lourdes Zephier that made this work a reality! Thank you!!!

Today, 8/21, Hannah Long-Higgins interviewed me about the mural project.

It was exciting to see the project take on yet another dimension.  In addition to being appreciated and discussed by church members and the community, especially the block residents, other people who may not even live in Brooklyn will learn about the mural and its message.

This was an opportunity for me see the mural’s power and the power of art in a new way.  Hannah Long-Higgins has been inspired to document this project.  She is attracted to its beauty, its positive message, and its spiritual connection.  She meets Lourdes Zephier and is inspired to share her story as an audio project for her class.

How many more spiritual connections will the project make?  Already I see new friends in our congregation who have come to worship with us. What else is a possible result of this project?

 

 

 

 

Subway Poem Five F train

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Labradoodle with a prancing step

kids , mixed up blond and nappy and brown

reciting Japanese cat names

Yoshi, Miko, Satsuma

Black haired cutie gives up a seat

Bus crowd rolling park side

 

Open bag

warm humidity rising

yes, the travel mug has opened

notebook cover splashed with coffee

 

 

Love enfolds us

 

city vista plain grey

down to the buttermilk channel

over the BQE

Gowanus reflecting graffitti

Gowanus

Hand in Hand Mural Project Phase Two

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Hand in Hand Mural Project Phase Two

Kathy collage

Hand in Hand Mural Project

 

Design by Kathy Creutzburg

Your suggestions and feedback are welcomed and invited as we proceed with the mural project.

The Hand in Hand mural project will hold a meeting Weds July 6th at 6:00 PM in the sanctuary. PSUMC 6th Ave and 8th St., Brooklyn, NY 11215

 

We will be discussing the next phases of the project including developing and finalizing the design for the mural,  a timeline for installation and outreach to engage folks interested in drawing, painting and doing the hands-on work of the project over the summer.

What are your responses to the questions:

  1. What do you love about our church?
  2. What do you want to say to our friends and neighbors who are interested in our church?

 

Love, Sarah

 

 

 

Subway Three F train

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A certain whiteness of summer in the florescent light

a silent buzzing in between the ears

A tall , dark gentlemen offers me a seat

silent praises, thanks

 

Time is tangible

brightness of 15 minutes early

sadness, fatigue behind heavy eyes

 

smells of morning showers, soapy product sprays

probing, surveying for insight

touching sadness in the sunlight

swampy, soggy

 

last night at the kitchen table

we spoke into each others eyes

the tides of our losses

pushing us together

dolphin pod

PSUMC Mural Project: Hand in Hand

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PSUMC Mural Project: Hand in Hand
coffee hour, sanctuary and small groups

coffee hour, sanctuary and small groups

In a time when racial justice seems so hard to find, our church is looking for a way to bring neighbors in among us and reach our mission of doing justice out into the community.

I was contemplating this need recently , as I walked along 8th Street side of the church and noticed again the damage on our mural. I was thinking: “We need a project we could invite the community to work on”. The two ideas intersected in my mind, and I decided to present the idea to our Social Action group and start fleshing out a plan to recreate our mural, interfacing with the community and supporting a message geared towards racial justice and spiritual community.WIN_20150125_131216 WIN_20150125_131157

Long before I became a member, I remember walking past our church and reading the creed; “Hand in hand, we the people of the Park Slope United Methodist Church,black ad white, straight and gay, old and young, rich and poor, unite as a loving community…..”  I remember thinking rather cynically, “How are they going to make that happen?”

When I came through the doors, I became part of a community of like-minded souls, an oasis of kindness, sharing and focus on goodness and justice. That was 1992. Through more than 20 years of Brooklyn life, including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, I have learned the benefits of belonging to this intentional community.

The mural tells some of our church stories.  As this blog continues, I will share the story of our new mural and its evolution.  Read the rest of this entry